The Early Years

Our son David looks at Daddy's Trains

"David the Boy" or "Wunkus Booper" as he was sometimes called when he was 2½ or 3. He is looking at Daddy's trains. Daddy was always in need of a hobby to escape his quotidian existence.


Christmas about 1975 with Fritz and Judy and David

It's Christmastime about 1978. We are in our remodeled living room in Baraboo, where Fritz is a partner in Cross, Kartch and Wagner.

Judy is "bouffed" and I wear a beard to look older, but I look like a rabbi instead.

David has a paper route so his eyes are usually open.


Baraboo Kiwanis at Ground Breaking for Donahue Terrace Apartments This is the ground breaking ceremony in Baraboo Wisconsin for the Donahue Terrace Apartments. Mayor Eugene Madalon stands surrounded by members of the Baraboo Kiwanis, who organized themselves to apply for a federal grant to build and subsidize a six story building that contained 61 apartments for old people. This was in 1978. Here are the Men on the Left.     And here are the Men on the Right.


Half the Kiwanis Housing Group

From left are Max, Matt, John, Maurice, Ken and John.   Max Herrmann was president of Humane Implement Co.  He was a rock of stability and good humor in whatever we undertook.   I miss him.  Matt Pinion was a registered engineer and a partner in Mid States Associates who acted as our consulting engineer, pro bono .  John ran the company that made the cans that the Libby people used for their canned goods.

Maurice Jones was a retired Methodist minister—a man of character and intelligence on whom I relied.   He acted as secretary for the Kiwanis group.  He also worked on the Baraboo Christmas Project—first as president, then as advisor.

Ken Nelson was the Sauk Count Agent. He was a close friend of my partner, John Langer, and was a great booster for improvements in Sauk County. He "boosted" me into community service—from critic to participant.

John Roelse now lives in California.  While he was in Baraboo, he was the Director of a large and modern retirement home, Jefferson Meadows.   He was also active in Wisconsin politics.  We had some good times together.



Mayor Madalon and the Other Kiwanis Men.

At the far left is Eugene (Gene) Madalon, long time mayor of Baraboo.   He was a rare combination of intelligence, honesty, caring, and decency.  He succumbed to a heart attack while shoveling the walk of an old neighbor.  We helped each other in different ways, and when the position of city attorney fell vacant, he persuaded me to run.  Unopposed, I was elected.

Then, from the left, Dick, Elmer, Bill, Chet, Bob and myself.  

Dick Jenks was a well respected attorney and partner in Greenhalgh, Jenks, and Dithmar; he eventually joined my old firm, which was, at one time, Cross, Karch, Langer, & Wagner.

Elmer Johnson headed the Badger Army Ammunition Depot south of Baraboo. Whenever there is a war, the plant is reactivated. It employed 4000 during the Second World War.

Bill Mossman was head of the district office for Wisconsin Power & Light Co. and eventually moved up to the home office in Madison.   When he left, we gave him a send off dinner with several hundred people in attendance.   He was a close friend of my senior partner, Clyde Cross.   He was very fond of early jazz—Bix Beiderbecke and Paul Whiteman.

Way in the rear, to the left of Bill Mossman, and wearing horn rimmed glasses, is Merlin Zitzner, president of the Baraboo National Bank, for whom I became counsel towards the end of my stay in Baraboo. Merlin and his wife, Janile, were friends of Judy and me.

C.E.(Chet) Corson was president of Eagle Signal Co. and won the Baraboo JC man of the year award for his many accomplishments, not the least of which was being president of the Baraboo Housing Authority and Baraboo Development Commission.    He was a kind and intelligent man who's good advice was sought by all.  He was a spiritual man—a vessel of divine Grace.

A number of these men have passed.   May They Rest in Peace.



A Meeting of the Baraboo Economic Development Commission

          Photo and Text—Baraboo News Repulic, August 30, 1977.

I took the option for the industrial park land over a restaurant dinner. I hadn't thought the landowner was ready to sell so I had no paper in my pockets. I wrote it out on a napkin. I had always wanted to do something like that.

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